I’ve researched plumerias and their toxicity towards humans and animals. It’s pretty well known that plumeria is toxic to dogs and cats; however, I have a family member who has tortoises in their yard and to plumeria. They asked me if plumeria may be toxic to their tortoise. I did some digging, trying to find more information on this topic.
During my research, I found that, yes, like for dogs and cats. Plumeria sap is toxic for tortoises to come in contact with and eat. It could cause skin and eye irritation for a tortoise.
How do I keep my tortoise safe?
Keep the plumeria away from the tortoise enclosure. The tortoise should be fine if the plant is not near the enclosure. The sap from the tree is what is toxic for humans and animals.
Even if you bring in the flowers for the tortoise to snack on, it shouldn’t be a problem, and the flower contains no sap from the plumeria.
Plant Your Plumeria on a moveable base
- When your tortoise is outside, you can move the plumeria to a safe location for your tortoise and the plumeria. Plumeria plants also grow pretty well in 20-gallon pots! This doubles as a way to keep your plumerias safe during poor weather since you can move them quickly.
Fence off Your Plumeria
Providing some barrier around your plumeria, if planted in the ground, should be sufficient in keeping your tortoises safe from coming into the sap from the tree.
What if my tortoise has no symptoms?
If your tortoise shows no effects after eating plumeria leaves, flowers, or branches, you shouldn’t worry. Chances are if your tortoise didn’t come in contact with the sap or ingest enough of it to affect them.
The effects of the toxins from plumeria sap are short-lived. If your tortoise is going to have issues from contact or ingestion, they should arise reasonably quickly.
What to do if my tortoise DOES have symptoms
Contact your vet immediately if your tortoise has any symptoms after ingestion or coming in contact with plumeria sap. Getting information on what precautions and steps to take care of your tortoise from a trained professional will help you keep your pet comfortable and give you peace of mind.
Are plumeria dangerous
The plumeria plant is poisonous, yet I wouldn’t consider it all that dangerous. Even when ingested, chances are your pet won’t get too sick. If you pay attention to your tortoise’s symptoms and contact a professional if symptoms do arise, your tortoise should be fine.
My Final Thoughts
Even if you have plumeria plants around your tortoise, I don’t think you need to worry about them getting sick. In my interaction with my Uncle’s tortoise, they seemed to leave the plumeria plant alone and didn’t seem interested in it.
It appears that even if they get sick, you shouldn’t have much to worry about as long as you contact your local veterinarian. However, please do contact a professional if symptoms do arise!